When Skill Didn't Matter

My parents used to tell me that I had to be 5 times better than the average person in order to do well in life. I didn't really understand what that meant at the time, but as I grew older i became more aware and determined to do what they advised. The news hasn't been very positive lately. It seems like every time we gain ground in liberal advancements in laws, like marriage equality and bathroom accommodations for the transgender community, more people lash out to against a different minority. Just so happens that this week, African Americans were the target this week, and for obvious reasons, this really got to me. I've been very fortunate to have lived this long with no negative interaction with a police officer, but I have experienced racism in other forms, just as other minorities have experienced prejudices from people and society. Even when I was young, some people would attribute any success I would have in music, to my blackness, not my work ethic. We can all see prejudice when it blatantly occurs, and but not so much when it is systematic. This is why we fight for equal pay between genders, marriage equality, immigration reform and other progressive laws. When we do, we can all see when society or lawmakers deter them from happening. All we can do, at least in this moment, is to acknowledge that prejudices are still in play, keep open minds in discussions, and call it out when it happens. Spread the awareness, and hopefully we can grow more empathetic towards our neighbors in the world.